There is no denying the Arizona Diamondbacks are playing better baseball these days than they were to start the season.
Since falling to 8-22 with a loss to the Colorado Rockies on April 29, the team has won eight of 13 games and had taken three consecutive series — all on the road — before stumbling against the Washington Nationals over the last few days.
“It feels better because you start to play better, you gain some momentum and you hope you can get back in it,” D-backs president Derrick Hall told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday. “However, you hope that your hole wasn’t dug too deep, and that very well may be the case.”
Hall added that the players will disagree with that idea, and the recent success does help to change the season’s outlook, at least a little bit.
Even still, the D-backs are 16-27 and a full 11 games back of the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants. If you want to be optimistic, they are only 6.5 games out of a NL Wild Card spot.
There’s still plenty of time left, but there’s also plenty of work to do.
Hall says part of the problem this year has been injuries. There’s no denying the team losing ace Patrick Corbin and reliever David Hernandez before the season set a bad tone, and then having Mark Trumbo go down after a few weeks into the campaign was just another issue for the team to deal with. Factor in veterans Bronson Arroyo and Cody Ross needing time to recover from their own injuries andget back into form, and yes, the D-backs have had some bad luck in that department.
But through it all, Hall’s positive outlook hasn’t changed much.
“Although we say we don’t want to make excuses with injuries, we’ve had some devastating ones,” Hall said. “I expect more, I expect better, and when the starting pitchers pitch the way they did that first month it was troubling, because now you see what they’re capable of doing.”
Indeed, the D-backs have been getting better pitching of late. In fact, over their last 20 games the starting hurlers have combined to go 8-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 128.2 innings.
Not great, sure, but not nearly as bad as it was to start the season. It kind of summarizes where the D-backs are at right now, and it’s not close to where Hall wants the team to be.
“I want to correct this, I want to win, I want to get back on track,” Hall said. “So that’s the only way I’ve changed. I’m even more motivated now because of the poor start.”